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UN condemns ethnic violence among S. Sudan refugees in Uganda


June 21, 2018 (KAMPALA) - The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has condemned the ethnic violence in a South Sudan refugee settlement in northwestern Uganda that left four people dead and 19 others injured.

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South Sudanese refugees fleeing violence in their home country wait to be transported to Uganda’s Arua district settlement camp on 6 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Isaac Kasamani)

In a statement issued on Thursday, UNHCR said it regrets the tragic loss of life that followed a scuffle between two male refugees of Dinka and Nuer tribesmen at Rhino Refugee Settlement in Uganda’s district of Arua on Sunday.

The sporadic violent attacks on refugees by fellow refugees in the subsequent days resulted in four confirmed fatalities, including that of a minor and 19 others injured.

"The acts that caused these deaths and injuries are criminal and the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to book in accordance with the laws Uganda," said Joel Boutroue, UNHCR Representative in Uganda.

The four Dinka tribesmen were killed in clashes with the Nuer following a dispute between two male refugees while watching a World Cup football match on television at a recreational center, according to the Ugandan police.

It’s alleged that one of the males left the center and when he returned he found that the other had taken his seat, prompting a heated argument between the two, which led to the fight that in turn sparked off a series of violent attacks in different villages in the Settlement.

Boutroue cautioned that the misdeeds of a few should not be attributed to an entire community.

"It is telling that such a minor incident should trigger a tragedy of such magnitude. It has created an extremely volatile situation for refugees in Tika Zone who are mostly women and children without the protection of their menfolk," said Boutroue.

"We are following the situation closely and reviewing durable options to maintain peace in the area," he said.

The Uganda government through the Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR has agreed to separate the two communities as a priority in order to prevent the escalation of already high tensions between youth on both sides, according to Boutroue.

"We are also going to work with the communities to promote peace and reconciliation," he said.

More than a million South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since December 2013, UNHCR said.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan in 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy, Riek Machar, pitting the country’s two largest ethnic groups against each other in a deadly struggle for supremacy, which has left tens of thousands dead and millions homeless.


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  • 22 June 2018 07:33, by Eastern

    Condemnation alone won’t help; just go ahead and fence off the dinka from their cousins the nuers for these folks have been at each others neck for a very long time. You have just seen what happened between Kiir and Riek in Addis Ababa. Now they are considering discussing again in front Of Al Bashir in Khartoum.

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  • 22 June 2018 07:53, by Mayendit

    Nuers people are addicted to killing like that.

    I think the Nuers must come clean to talk about this killing Dinka refugee in Uganda. They have to be advice not to push us to Rwanda road. You got thousands living the camps a cross the nation including Bahr el Ghazal regions and Idiots people thought about killing four Dinkas. Please do not push us to Rwanda road, we can gets 30,000 Nuers with hr

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    • 22 June 2018 08:17, by Malakal county Simon


      Never threat mighty Nuers because you will not like it when they response.... you heard and you know what’s happened in Bor if it’s wasn’t SPDF, you won’t be talking taugh while in America.... So zip your mouth when it come to physical fight with Nuers....

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      • 22 June 2018 09:02, by Mike Mike

        Nuer people does not want South Sudanese to stay in peace at all,even if they are living in foreign Country still they can cause the problem to the people for no reason.What is going to benefit them from this World Cup that is taking place in Russia?.This tribe called nuer have become the chronic disease to the people of SS.infact I don’t see something that can cause war here if they have sense.

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        • 22 June 2018 10:23, by Theallseeingeye

          Mike Mike

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          • 22 June 2018 10:29, by Theallseeingeye

            Jienge claim South Sudan is theirs and that they can roam and milk it as they wish, that is why they are scattering around and creating mess in Equatoria, upper Nile and every where. BUT WHAT ABOUT REFUGEE CAMPS IN UGANDA, KENYA, SUDAN, ETHIOPIA, etc. have you liberated them too?

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    • 22 June 2018 08:44, by Games

      30,000 Nuer can wipe off the entirely Dinka population. We don’t joke when it comes to war. Many Nuer are still with you Dinka and they are carrying same weapons you have. You mess up with them, they will burrying you alive
      They refugees should be same camps in the first place, it was huge mistake to those who did it

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